Court TV Gets On Ad Clutter’s Case

Stepping in where the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers left off, Court TV has revisited the state of commercial clutter with its own analysis, which focuses predominately on the cable networks.

The last time the industry got a good look at clutter was in February 2002, when the two organizations released data for 2001. Court TV’s analysis and the 4A’s/ANA study are difficult to compare because of different methodologies. But Court TV’s report shows that cable and the broadcast networks continue to devote a significant portion of their prime-time hours to commercials and other non-program messages.

On average, the 37 cable networks air 14 minutes and 30 seconds of non-program material each hour during prime time. The study found that the four largest broadcast networks devote, on average, less time to such material per hour, at 13 minutes and 4 seconds.

Traditionally, broadcast networks have been the biggest ad-clutter culprits. According to a study conducted earlier this year by OMD, the six broadcast networks increased non-program minutes last year by about 10 seconds, to 15 minutes and 20 seconds. The 36 cable networks in the study, by contrast, increased non-program minutes by 2 seconds to 14 minutes and 15 seconds in 2002.

“We’re trying to fill the void that the 4A’s/ANA left,” said Deborah Reichig, Court TV svp of sales strategy.